Administration officials said that more than half of all states and more than 300 communities have so far answered President Biden's initial call last year to mobilize funds to reduce gun violence. File Photo by Brian Kersey/UPI | License Photo
May 13 (UPI) -- President Joe Biden will announce an initiative on Friday that dedicates billions of dollars to making communities safer and reducing gun violence nationwide.
The White House said that the president will appropriate $10 billion from the American Rescue Plan for state and local public safety and violence prevention efforts. In doing so, the president renewed his call for communities to invest as much as possible toward this effort in the coming months.
Administration officials said that more than half of all states and more than 300 communities have so far answered Biden's initial call last year to mobilize funds in a bid to reduce gun violence.
Biden is scheduled to announce the investment at the White House at 3 p.m. EDT Friday.
The new funding is intended to put more officers on patrol for "accountable community policing," expand violence intervention programs and prevent crime by making neighborhoods stronger with more educational and economic opportunities.
So far, about $6.5 billion has been used in prevention programs like community violence intervention, crisis response and treatment for substance abuse and mental health disorders.
Front-line public safety workers will get $1 billion in bonuses to help recruit and retain personnel, and more than $1.2 billion will be used to pay for Medicaid mobile crisis intervention services to support police departments in dealing with behavioral health crises.
The White House faulted Republican lawmakers in Congress for failing to meet the safety needs of local communities.
"Unfortunately, every Republican in Congress voted against the American Rescue Plan public safety funding for cities and rural counties across the country," it said.
The initiative came after Biden met with municipal and community leaders in cities that have successfully reduced gun violence.